On yesterday's show, Rachel Madcow launched into a predictable diatribe against Paul Ryan's budget plan:
"The Ryan budget is a document that says the big problems in America right now are that rich people do not have enough money," she mocked. "They need relief from confiscatory tax rates."
Surprisingly, Maher tried to interject. And when Madcow finally paused for breath, Maher's response was, for him, astounding:
Pointing at Virginia's former Republican Congressman Tom Davis, Maher said, "You know what? Rich people - I'm sure you'd agree with this - actually do pay the freight in this country."
"I just saw these statistics," he continued, "I mean, something like 70 percent. And here in California, I just want to say liberals - you could actually lose me. It's outrageous what we're paying - over 50 percent. I'm willing to pay my share, but yeah, it's ridiculous."
State and federal income taxes for rich Californians actually are nearly 55%; add in sales taxes, property taxes, and assorted fees, and the total bite approaches 60% - a figure that even gets Maher's attention. And that's not easy to do.